A 67-year-old man had undergone DeVega annuloplasty (with use of monofilament polypropylene suture) and mitral valve replacement 3 years before he presented at our hospital. Transesophageal echocardiograms showed paravalvular leakage of the mitral prosthesis, moderate-to-severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) associated with annular dilation (diameter, 4.2 cm) (Fig. 1A), an echodense streak at the tricuspid annular level in diastole (Fig. 1B), and a pulmonary artery systolic pressure of 26 mmHg. During repair of the paravalvular mitral leak and the TR, one strand of tricuspid annuloplasty suture was found tethered across the valve aperture consequent to atrial tissue laceration; another suture strand was superficially buried in the annulus (Fig. 2). The TR was repaired with use of a no. 28 Edwards MC3 Tricuspid Annuloplasty Ring (Edwards Lifesciences Corporation; Irvine, Calif).
Recurrent TR after DeVega annuloplasty has been described.1 Whereas the risk factors for recurrent TR include chronic obstructive diseases, pulmonary hypertension (>60 mmHg), and a left ventricular ejection fraction <0.50, the DeVega annuloplasty technique (in comparison with ring and modified DeVega annuloplasty) also poses a risk.
In several DeVega patients with a suture-tethering sequela, the culprit material was a monofilament polypropylene suture. Even when pulmonary artery pressure is low, the monofilament suture material might lacerate tissue in the annulus and atrial wall during cardiac motion. This risk can be reduced by using the modified DeVega annuloplasty technique with multiple pledgets1 and deep stitching with a braided Dacron suture instead of monofilament polypropylene.2 A high likelihood of avoiding recurrent TR can be expected with the use of a partial1 or complete3 ring, as opposed to DeVega annuloplasty.
Section Editor: Raymond F. Stainback, MD, Department of Adult Cardiology, Texas Heart Institute, 6624 Fannin St., Suite 2480, Houston, TX 77030
From: Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Chonbuk National University Hospital; and Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University and Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital; Jeonju, 561-712 Chonbuk, Republic of Korea
This study was supported by funds from the Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University and Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital.